On intelligence is intuitive

1:

what happens to a society
when mystery is labeled
as evil?

it yields an ever-connected chain
of false labels and misinterpretations

the indigenous are labeled
as savage terorists
and plotted against

the open-hearted
are manipulated into slavery

the vulnerable are penetrated
by force of law

citizens
where is your allegiance?

why do you pledge
with a covered heart
when it needs to be opened?

why do you bear arms
with balled fists
and closed palms?

why do you call yourself
a patriot (pater: fr. Latin.meaning father)
when your greatest love has always been
for your mother?

this loaded phallus
has becum
the prevailing metaphor
of the day

you’ve spent your chi
on cheap versions
of the virgin

you’ve worshipped
loopholes in a story
and war shipped
mythic men to glory

if in god’s image
then your god’s
a plastic surgeon

a tyrannic dictator

a coward behind a curtain
with a megaphone

an aging oil tycoon
on viagra
ramming his plow
into the earth
turning up disease
and disaster
out of an ever-drying womb

you will become her cyclical sacrament

menstrual minstrels
footing your own bill
of right left right
marching blindly
into a moonless night
another dimension
where children use chalk
on the sidewalk
tracing their bodies
for the precriminal investigation:
of their paternal inheritance:

murder!

men in uniform
take note

love refuses
to take cover

[excerpt from , said the shotgun to the head by saul williams]

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On creative focus

From a really excellent AMA by Werner Herzog, in response to the question “Is there any method or practice you use to help get focused on one idea to pursue for a picture?” —

[–]Werner-Herzog[S] 1012 points 2 months ago

That’s hard to answer, because I do not follow ideas; I stumble into stories, or I stumble into people who all of the sudden, the situation makes it clear that this is so big, I have to make a film. Very often, films come with uninvited guests, I keep saying like burglars in the middle of the night. They’re in your kitchen, something is stirring, you wake up at 3 AM and all of the sudden they come wildly swinging at you.

So, I try to–it’s not focusing on ideas, but I know exactly what the problem this is. Once you have an idea, it wouldn’t help to sit down and keep brooding, brooding, brooding…just live on but keep it in the back of your mind all the time. Keep connecting little bits and pieces that belong to it. Sometimes it’s only a word, sometimes half a line of dialogue, sometimes an image that you squiggle down. And when it kind of in this way materializes, then press yourself with urgency.

When I write a screenplay, I write it when I have a whole film in front of my eyes, and it’s very easy for me, and I can write very, very fast. It’s almost like copying. But of course sometimes I push myself; I read myself into a frenzy of poetry, reading Chinese poets of the 8th and 9th century, reading old Icelandic poetry, reading some of the finest German poets like Hölderlin. All of this has absolutely nothing to do with the idea of my film, but I work myself up into this kind of frenzy of high-caliber language and concepts and beauty.

And then sometimes I push myself by playing music; in my place it would be, for example, a piano concerto, and I play it and I type on my laptop furiously. But all of it is not a real answer, how do you focus on single idea; I think you have to depart sometimes, and keep it all the time alive somehow.

On modeling

The Atlantic’s City Lab blog posted an interview with Josef Konvitz and his comments on modeling and forecasting stuck out to me —

Great projects have dynamic effects, precipitating changes throughout urban regions that are all but impossible to model in advance because no one can anticipate their impact. Projects are often sold on the basis of the number of construction jobs or new housing starts that will follow. This narrow approach to cost-benefit analysis would have led the Victorians to conclude that a major sewer system for London was too expensive. By the same token, bridges and tunnels linking New York and New Jersey would never have been built a century ago. The test of good infrastructure is whether it makes best use of the density, size, and complexity of cities.

On resilient cities

The Atlantic’s City Lab blog posted a conversation with The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative President Michael Berkowitz, and this bit caught my attention —

There’s a difference between resilient infrastructure and infrastructure that builds resilience. Resilient infrastructure is the bridge that doesn’t fall down in the flood. Infrastructure that builds resilience is the piece of infrastructure that promotes transportation or integration, that builds the fabric of the city in the strongest possible way. We’re going to get better at building and valuing resilient infrastructure. You can take your 50- or 100-year risk scenarios and say, does this or doesn’t this meet those standards. That’s an engineering question. …

One of the things we’ve found both in the developed and the developing regions is  that cities, just generally as a rule, are basically fighting fire day in and day out. What a chief resilience officer has is the luxury to think more strategically about some of the wicked problems that they face and set a new course. It’s outside of that fire-fighting ecosystem.